At the E-Summit 24 hosted by the Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (MANIT), celebrated author and former diplomat Vikas Swarup, known for his book adapted into the Oscar-winning movie "Slumdog Millionaire," shared profound insights on the impact of storytelling. Speaking on the event's second day, Swarup underscored the enduring appeal of underdog narratives worldwide, positioning books as instruments of significant societal influence and personal empowerment.
During his address at the summit, Swarup, whose life was notably inspired by the TV show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" reflected on his varied experiences in diplomacy and literature. He advocated for leveraging social media platforms by governments to foster direct engagement with citizens. He also expressed a wish for a dialogue with historical figures like Mahatma Gandhi and Premchand, highlighting the timeless relevance of their ideologies. Additionally, Swarup announced the eagerly anticipated launch of his latest novel set for July, promising to add another valuable work to his literary achievements.
The summit also featured Sharad Vivek Sagar, CEO of Dexterity Global, who critiqued the differences between Indian and international educational systems. Sagar called for a paradigm shift from a focus on academic grades to one emphasizing substantial societal contributions. Invoking the teachings of Swami Vivekananda, he reminded aspiring entrepreneurs of the virtue of patience and the true essence of entrepreneurship — beyond profit-making to effecting societal betterment.
Sagar's talk also tackled the criticality of understanding the motivations behind starting a business, the need to cultivate trust to establish credibility, and the challenge of overcoming conventional stereotypes.
In addition to the keynote speeches, the summit hosted a variety of sessions including an investor panel and startup pitch presentations. The Business Plan competition saw Yogesh Kharke, COO of Bnest Incubation Centre and a mentor in investment and smart city development, lead a guest session. Over 20 startups presented their ideas to a panel of judges, amidst an exhibition featuring around 50 startup booths, drawing participation from incubation centres, investors, and other notable guests. A unique IPL auction simulation added an interactive dimension to the event, engaging participants in a strategic bidding game involving cricket players, albeit without real financial stakes.
E-Summit 24 at MANIT not only offered a platform for sharing knowledge and experiences but also highlighted the broader role of literature, education, and entrepreneurship in driving societal change and personal growth.